Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cracks.



via


When we bought our house in the historic neighborhood of Old Cloverdale, we quickly discovered one of the "charms" of living in an older home.

Cracks.

No matter what you do to cover them up...paint, putty, etc. they come back. They show through the new paint. You never really get rid of them for good.

And that was not OK with me.

You see, I didn't don't like broken things. Cracked things. Imperfect things.

I want things whole. Uncracked. Unbroken. Right. Now.

Like the parts of my life that are less than perfect, for instance.  Or the struggles of my friends, injustice, sickness, the poverty I see a few streets over...the list could go on.

To me, cracks were just something to take away from the beauty of what I thought should be. And needed to be fixed ASAP.

I hear the Western Wailing Wall in Jerusalem has lots of cracks, too.  Jews often place prayers in those cracks. Prayers for loved ones, prayers for the restoration of Jerusalem, prayers for the Messiah to come.

I think that is beautiful.

So I've started thinking maybe that is what should be.

What if instead of freaking out and having a caniption for not being "perfectly perfect in every way," (shoutout to my girl Mary Poppins) and attempting to fill my deficits and the deficits of others with more discipline, more Bible, more accountability etc.  I filled the cracks in my life with Jesus + nothing? With his promises? And decided to trust and believe He will come into those places and make them whole...in His perfect timing?

Maybe, after all, cracks mean I'm human and brokeness means I am a real. Maybe letting the cracks show mean they can be filled again, and again until the day where my faith becomes my sight by the One who uses those cracks to fill me with Himself and with compassion for other people with cracks too?  Perhaps the cracks I see in society and in the politicians and in myself and others are not imperfections to slap a Bible verse over or get uncomfortable about....maybe they are there so I can breathe a sigh of relief.  And know, once again, that we never will get it all together on this side of Heaven. What if when Jesus says in John that He will come and make His home in us it means he resides in our cracks and imperfections and loves us completely and utterly in the midst of them and changes us as we learn to rest in his presence with us?

What if....?

So, I guess I could say I am slowly becoming kind of okay with the crack that is (quickly) growing in the ceiling above our bed. It's a reminder to me every day when I wake up that we have the opportunity to walk with the perfector and filler of all the cracks we carry. And He can use those cracks, "so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies, For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh...So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renwed day by day..." (see 2 Corinthians 4:9-11, 16)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cooking with Pinterest

About a year ago, I was terrified of cooking.

Knives, measuring spoons, mixers...

all of it scared me.

It seemed too difficult to me...kind of like a word problem on a math class used to feel.

Too many numbers, fractions, halves, wholes, cutting, slicing, dicing...

EEEK.

No thank you, sir.

Plus, my husband grew up in a house with parents who owned a restaurant for a period of time. Enter cooking insecurity....and failed attempts to make it appear I knew what I was doing. There was even a night where I legit cried over being unable to cut an avocado...tell me that isn't hard the first time!

But thanks be to Pinterest! It has become my salvation of sorts as I have made my own path in the world of housewifery and home ec 101.

  There is a lot of idealism on Pinterest...but there is also a lot of really good food that's makeable, eatable and delicious!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite "pinteresting" recepies that have been a hit with my husband and also with  my limited cooking skills, which have seemed, by all accounts, to take a turn for the best :)

I'd like to also add I baked my first cake last month. I can't lie...it was dang good. I also can't lie again...Chase helped me.


see! not so scary!





Grilled Chicken and Lemon Basil Pasta - a major WIN!










The Best Cookie You Ever Had









Did you say sweet potato burger?!?











Eggplant deliciousness











Turkey, turkey, turkey burgers!











Mucho Gusto-Mexican Chicken & Lime Soup











(Skinny!) Chicken Parm











This ain't yo mama's asaparagus!











Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos








Prepare to hit the gym after this -Cajun Chicken Pasta

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a psalm to pray : psalm 68



For the last couple of months, the small group I meet with has been reading through the Psalms. As we read, I re-discovered why I loved them so much.

The psalms are emotional. Just like us girls. 

 One minute David is all "yay God!" and the next he is all like "whoa is me, my bed is soaked in my tears." Literally (see Psalm 6:6 for proof).  David shows himself to be an emotional, crazy in love with God's love, sometimes overly dramatic yet, very real dude. Who was also king of a country, mind you. 

(Let me take this moment to say if I had to guess what kind of 21st century persona David would fit best, I'd have to guess an emo guy making playing the harp cool and singing songs to make the girls swoon. Basically a harp playing John Mayer. Definitely.)

Moving on....

The verses below are a small part of a much longer psalm. I have been coming back to these words again and again, filling in the [   ] and __________ with words that speak specifically to the truths about God and myself that suit the moment. 

I invite anyone who happens to find themselves here to read the words below and pray them for yourself.  Believe them...they are truth! Feel them...let them move you and allow them to become a part of your rhythm and your very life. 

photo credit


"Blessed be the Lord,
  who daily bears [me] up;

God is my [Rescuer].

Our God is a God of [Salvation,]
and to Him belong deliverances from [________________]

...

Summon [Your power,] O God,
[the power, ]O God, by which
You have worked for us."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wide.

Once upon a time I had a blog. Last night, I word vomited on it. Sorry. I am also a tid bit hesitant to even post this. I've been wanting to start this thing back up, and I figure I have to start somewhere. So I just started writing and this is what came out. So here goes nothin'...

I almost feel like I need to start a new blog. It's been like...a year.

So much has happened and I won't even try to recap it here, but let's just say year numero uno of marriage was cra-zay. In the best and most unexpected ways, of course.

Jesus is more real to me than ever. He has put us in a place we never thought we could love. We are being pushed to new inner and outer places that have left us wide eyed and jaw dropped at the greatness of the Jesus we follow, the hard things real life is made of and at the people we have the joy of walking this road with...it's good.

I realize now more than ever I need a Savior and I am not perfect. At all. No matter what I thought a year ago...'cuz let's just face it. I thought I was all good and grand. No real issues to work through, no big problems in my relationships. I firmly believed it was my responsibility to help other people come to a place in their relationship with Jesus where I was...or thought I was. Geez, that sounds so bad typed out. But it's true. OOPS.

Then I got married.

Marriage taught me I am a mess, but I am also a few other things:


I am loved.

and...

I am free.

(cue new blog title)

Marriage has been the best, hardest, most redeeming thing in my whole wide life. Is that even a phrase? But life is wide...that I have discovered. It used to feel so narrow. But it is wide enough for all I am and all I am not...and for the One who loves with a great, big, HUGE, love I had never known until recently. Yea, I believed I was loved by God...like a good church goin' girl down here in Alabam'...but I didn't know it. Feel it. Live it.

A myriad of circumstances, situations, relationships and teary conversations have helped begin the process of tearing down a curtain in my heart and in my mind that was fencing me, as well as those close to me, into this narrow space I thought Jesus lived in.

Wrong.

Have you heard the saying, "Don't put God in a box"?

Well, I  was trying to put him in a shoebox.


Here's a little thing I wrote last week about the W I D E N E S S  I have encountered this year...maybe it can sum up just a little of what I am saying...

You invite me in, with the turn of a thin page where black ink meets red words that seem first so narrow. Yet the further I read and the more I pray...I see it. This way leads to a wide place, a free place, a place big enough for all of who I am and more of who You are. It's wide enough for all the fear I carry. The fear I've thought I had to check at the door before I moved any closer. That fear, the one that freezes me, binds me and yet still moves me. Your words call me toward you. Closer...closer. No narrowness, only wideness. No judgement, only love. No empty handedness, but a flinging all of the things I drag behind me onto your lap...and a asking for you to "take it and make it something more," flutters through parted lips.

And I know.

Right here in the narrow space between reality and eternity lies a hand that hold me and molds me into more than the sum of my fear, but into Love that is wider, longer, higher and deeper .